In the world capital of fight sports and gambling, anyone who bet on Caio Terra and the Gracie family came up big.
The scrawny roosterweight 2008 world champion dazzled on his way to winning the maiden Las Vegas Open event, an IBJJF championship held yesterday at Nevada’s Sport Center arena.
Caio took gold in the absolute and light featherweight categories, and even went back for more in the no-gi event held in tandem, the No-Gi Nationals, where the Cesar Gracie snapped up another gold at weight and took bronze in the absolute.
Ihe No-Gi Nationals another promising fighter shone, Gregor Gracie. The son of Angela Gracie tapped out Diego Herzog in the absolute division final after shutting out the medium heavyweight division with brother Igor – Igor and Gregor managed two tapouts apiece before reaching the final.
In the ultraheavyweight division the third brother, Rolles Gracie, also put on a show and took gold.
Despite the outstanding performances of the gi-clad athletes in the Las Vegas Open, the way the absolute no-gi absolute division played out was what grabbed the most attention.
Gregor Gracie, a Brazilian living in New York, beat Rafael Lovato via judges’ decision, leaving the teacher from Oklahoma outraged. At the other end of the bracket Diego Herzog attacked Caio Terra’s knee from the 50/50 guard, obliging Caio to tap and complain of an illegal hold, but the referee didn’t see things that way and validated the submission.
In the final Herzog again tried the hold against Gregor, but this time the ref disqualified him, to spectator Caio’s disbelief.
Check back with GRACIEMAG.com tomorrow for complete coverage of the event in Vegas.